Monday, December 10, 2007
This Ziggy Doesn't Play Guitar--But I Bet He Could
One of the many things I like about living where we do--a vaguely rural area with lots of space and a decidedly equestrian bent--is that we share our digs with all sorts of fabulous creatures.
These range from lizards and frogs (one of which I, uh, profiled, in a previous post) to rabbits, opossums, squirrels to all kinds of wildlife in and around our pond, including turtles and fish inside, and assorted fowl outside.
Perhaps my favorite critter around these parts, though, is Ziggy, the fabulous white horse who lives next door. For one thing, as the accompanying picture suggests, he's gorgeous.
But it's more than that. He's a mellow and kind beast, with one of those especially magnetic personalities that only certain animals have. He's the kind of horse you're always happy to see, when you approach the house--or even when you're heading out.
I always stop, roll down the window and call, "Hi Ziggy." I recognize that it means a lot more to me than it does to him, but even if he's in the midst of chowing down, he always looks up and nods to acknowledge the greetings. That's just the kind of horse he is.
Several months ago, Ziggy's human companions placed their house on the market, which was sad news in all kinds of ways--not surprisingly, perhaps, these folks are as nice as Ziggy is, and we'll be very sorry to see them go.
Meanwhile, Ziggy has been spending large hunks of time at their ranch in another part of the state. He's had some problems of late with his feet, and the ground at the ranch is easier on his feet, plus he has a horse friend up there. Hard to begrudge him greater comfort & equine companionship.
But we miss him. This summer, Ziggy was gone for one of the first of his long stretches, and I was in the car with my 4-year-old, Mike, when we drove by his main stomping grounds, and we began wondering aloud where Ziggy was.
"Maybe," Mike suggested, "he's on vacation?"
Out of the mouth of babes, and all. Turns out, Mike's guess was pretty darn accurate. Ziggy came back a few weeks ago, and we all were bonkers with excitement. It was so great to see him, so comforting and wonderful to hear him snorting and whinnying at night.
I went over darn every day to talk with him. Again, the conversations meant a lot more to me than to him; for all I know, he just considered me an odd and lonely man. But, I guess, as someone who loves animals, it's a powerfully pleasurable feeling simply to be in the presence of an animal like that. I relish those visits.
He went back to the ranch recently. Of course, I'm glad he's happier and more comfortable up there, but every time I drive back to our house, I steal a glance next door, hoping Ziggy might have returned. I can hardly wait for our next chat.